March 06, 2024
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  • PPBE Commission Releases Final Report: Defense Resourcing For The Future

          The Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Commission released their final report on Wednesday, March 6th. The report reflects 24 months of research and over 400 interviews with nearly 1,100 experts from Congress, the Department of Defense (DoD), industry, academia, and research organizations. The PPBE Commission was formed on a bipartisan basis to comprehensively examine the DoD’s budgeting system and make recommendations to—in the end—improve the agility of the DoD and increase the lethality of American Warriors.

    The threats facing the United States from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are manifold and require not only strong trust between Congress and the DoD but a quick and orderly process by which the DoD can field innovative technologies at the pace of change. The recommendations provided by the PPBE Commission, if implemented by the DoD and Congress, will reap benefits and cost savings for generations.

    Word on the Street via PPBE Commission’s Final Report:   

    • “To shape the Commission’s focus on critical areas for reform, the Commission organized its research and identified recommendations designed to: 
      • Improve the Alignment of Budgets to Strategy;
      • Foster Innovation and Adaptability; 
      • Strengthen Relationships Between DoD and Congress;
      • Modernize Business Systems and Data Analytics; and
      • Strengthen the Capability of the Resourcing Workforce.
    • “[T]oday’s decision-makers focus primarily on capability. Under the current budget structure, this requires pulling data from disparate sections of the budget in order to see the whole program.”

    • “The Commission found that the current budget structure significantly limits the ability of DoD to be responsive to changes in strategic direction and emerging threats. The structure does not align with the way many DoD and congressional decision-makers think about national security challenges, making it difficult to ensure resources are used in a prioritized way that supports strategy and defense objectives.”  

    • “Current budget justification materials make it difficult to achieve a holistic picture of resources from a given effort or portfolio on efforts, since a program or operational budget is broken out by its various appropriations that are published separately. This complicates oversight efforts and requires significant staff work to respond to questions about resource allocations across the budget.” 

    • “This distracts from reciprocal decision-making, communication, and clarity within and between the Department [of Defense] and Congress.”

    • “[C]urrent budget structure and execution constraints limit the ability of the DoD to shift funds to incorporate rapidly evolving technologies, like artificial intelligence or quantum sensing, to keep pace with adversaries.” 

    • “The 1960s-era budget structure require program, headquarters, and OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] leadership to dedicate time and constrain execution choices based on color of money funding alignment and legal interpretation issues, rather than focusing on delivering program outcomes, strategic alignment, and incorporating emerging technologies.” 

    The Big Picture:

    Congressional action has mandated that the PPBE Reform Commission examine a $816.7 billion agency, which holds $3.8 trillion in assets; and employs 3.4 million service members and civilians, operating on 4,800 sites in more than 160 countries. Currently, the Department’s annual budget submission involves 50,000 military and civilian personnel, consists of 30,000 pages, thousands of budget lines, and is the culmination of up to four years of work. The task has not been easy, but the Commission’s 14 experts in defense budgeting and acquisition processes have done their due-diligence and crafted well-founded recommendations that would streamline the DoD, increase the safety and lethality of our warfighters, and save the American Taxpayer their hard-earned money. 

    The work of the PPBE Commission shines the light of transparency and oversight on an antiquated budgeting process that has led to a deterioration of trust between DoD and Congress and a lag of innovation that endangers the security of all Americans and our allies. Streamlining the DoD’s PPBE process through the recommendations of the Commission will allow critical technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum sensing and computing, autonomous drones and vehicles, and others to be rapidly fielded to the benefit of our warfighters.

    The Bottom Line:

    The House Committee on the Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington, Budget Oversight Task Force Chair Jack Bergman, and Budget Process Reform Task Force Chair Rudy Yakym sent a letter to the PPBE Commission in January of 2024. The letter outlines the three simple goals that the Budget Committee and Task Forces believe will be accomplished by the work of the PPBE Commission:  

    • Build trust in the Department of Defense; 
    • Help educate and inform the American People about national security and;
    • Help Congress budget better for national security. 

    Major reforms purposed to streamline massive agencies are always easier to talk about than to actually enact. The recommendations of the PPBE Commission accomplish the three goals set forth in the House Budget Committee and Task Forces letter. The expert Commissioners have produced a series of thoughtful recommendations that will, if enacted, ensure the long-term safety and security of the U.S. while saving the American Taxpayer billions of dollars.  

    The American Taxpayer deserves a federal government that is fiscally sound and devoid of woke policies, wasteful spending, and bloated bureaucracy. The House Budget Committee is ensuring government-wide fiscal accountability.

    Click HERE to see House Budget Committee’s Letter to the PPBE Commission

    Click HERE to see House Budget Committee’s Whistleblower Portal 

    House Republicans are tirelessly working to reverse the curse of the Democrat agenda, from open border policies to their ambivalence toward the debt crisis. The Budget Committee is fighting for brighter days ahead for all Americans. See HERE for our FY25-34 Budget Resolution.